Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Prison without guards or weapons in Brazil
In a traditional, or mainstream prison, inmates are called by the assigned number. They are closely watched by the armed guards and allowed little or no privacy. Indeed, most prisons are a place for punishment, not for restoration.
Brazil has the fourth largest prison population in the world. The conditions of their prisons are often so poor, overcrowded and unsafe that prison riots are often provoked. But besides these mainstream prisons, there are about 50 more humane, rehabilitating facilities run by the Association for the Protection and Assistance to Convicts, or Apac. There are no guards or arms in their prisons. Inmates are called their names instead of the number, allowed to wear their own clothe, have make-up and hair dye. They need to earn such privileges through the mainstream prisons by showing remorse and will to work and study to restore their lives, though. If they work harder, they could get more freedom such as once-a-week outing, or even shortened prison terms. But if they don’t, they could be put back to the mainstream prison system.
Indeed, it sounds like restorative justice, which tries to repair the harm caused by crime.
Enjoy reading and think the pros and cons of punishment and restoration for a crime.